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July 26, 2011 > Change the world

Change the world

Submitted By Kylie Snowaert

Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI), a well-respected, nonprofit student exchange organization, seeks volunteer host families for exchange students during the 2011-12 school year. Each year, CCI provides over 1,000 exchange students from over 50 countries with an opportunity to study in local public high schools for a five-month semester or a 10-month academic high school year.

"Host families make all of the difference," said Allison Graham, Outreach and Training manager. "They influence a young adult's life, changing world views and making dreams come true. When the family is so willing to give, they have just as many rewarding and enriching experiences as the student."

Volunteer host families come from varied economic, religious and racial backgrounds and include working parents, empty nesters, singles and single parents. They provide open communication, encouragement, patience and sound advice; a separate bed, which can be in a shared room with a host sibling of similar age and same gender and a quiet place to study; three daily meals; local transportation (students are not permitted to drive while in the program); and treatment as a member of the family, which may include household rules, responsibilities and privileges.

While host families are not compensated, the Internal Revenue Service has authorized families to claim a $50 per month charitable contribution deduction on their itemized tax returns.

Students have their own accident and health insurance and bring their own spending money. They are encouraged to participate in school-sponsored activities, community service and environmental programs. CCI provides regular communication and support to both host families and students. Host family applications are being accepted now through August 15.

Established in 1985, Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI), is a non-profit international educational exchange organization dedicated to the promotion of cultural understanding, academic development, environmental consciousness and world peace. CCI is recognized by the U.S. Department of State as an official exchange visitor program sponsor.

For more information, visit www.cci-exchange.com or call 1 (800)-634-4771 (toll free).

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